Back When We Were Christians
You're spent. You need something: a change, an epiphany, a day off. You throw some stuff in the car and start driving. You're unsure of your destination, maybe just a dusty road somewhere far from where you've been. This is the music that you slide into your CD player to begin your journey. It's thick with yearning and irony. It's got a healthy dose of heartache, and just enough hope to keep you driving until sunrise... Addie Brownlee's lyrics are intelligent and brutally honest, 'I don't know if I'm getting older, or if I just don't love you enough...' Often she puts words to feelings that aren't easily expressed or classified, but so familiar you'll wonder why no one has ever written these songs before. Her listeners describe her music and her voice as earthy, soulful...a shot of Southern Comfort, a hard rain. Born on the Kansas prairie, Addie was raised there and in Tennessee. She originally came to New York to continue her pursuit of acting. She's worked as an actor Off-Broadway, which she says is a dream come true in itself, but has had the added bonus of affording her the time to work on her songs. 'Though I've always written a bit and have been a musician of some sort for most of my life, I didn't start songwriting until a couple years ago. It's as though it had been locked inside me.' Well, now it's unloosed with a fury. With the release of her new CD, Back When We Were Christians, Addie Brownlee is quickly making a place for herself in the New York City performing songwriter scene. Though crowd favorite 'Jesus and Charlie' might keep her off the 700 Club's guest list, it's getting her plenty of industry attention. She laughs, 'I know 'Jesus and Charlie' rubs some people the wrong way, but that's okay. I just wrote what I felt. Writing that song was a spiritual catharsis for me, and I consider it a tribute, a love song.' 'Jesus and Charlie' is not the only song on Back When We Were Christians with Biblical allusions...hence the title. We asked her about that. 'I won't shy away from it. It's part of me, even though I've journeyed quite far from my spiritual roots. But what is it that Ghandi said? Religion is like a mother. However good a friend's mother may be, you cannot forsake your own.' Addie's music is not easy to categorize, but is probably best described as folk rock, with a hint of Americana. Whatever it is...it's original, raw and unrefined. She draws inspiration from many different artists, great lyricists like Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, rockers like Melissa Etheridge, prolific writers like Dolly Parton and more recently, passionate songwriters like Patty Griffin and Lucinda Williams. Like all of these varied songwriters, she is an artist of the people, and the subjects of her songs range from social injustice to love gone blisteringly wrong. She gives a great show. She's warm, funny and sexy on stage. She's fearless. She'll open old wounds if you let her, but then she'll sing you something so soothing you'll forget the pain. So get Back When We Were Christians now, and then run, don't walk to her next gig. And when the lights go down and she sings 'Come to Me,' just try not to.